Monday, October 25, 2010

on falling apart and piecing myself back together again

I can probably count on one hand the number of times Matt has come home from work to find me collapsed someplace crying.  Truthfully, I don't cry that much.  Honestly, I wish I cried more than I did.  I often feel like crying much more frequently than I can actually execute the crying.  Thursday afternoon, however, was an exception.  When Matt walked in the back door, I was crying.  And I couldn't stop. 
I had to stop, though, because I am driven by duty, and I was hosting the mom's group from church for dinner.  So after a few minutes of sympathetic hugging (thankfully, he wasn't intent on fixing the situation at that moment), I turned off the tears and got to work.
I still felt sick to my stomach, though.

Thursday was not a good day. 
Turns out, Friday wasn't really either. 
The thing is, I think I am a bit of a mess at the moment. 

I actually started this post on Friday, and I spelled out the nightmare of the day before.  It wasn't that bad.  It was kid stuff.  Temper tantrums.  Whining.  A feeling of complete and utter helplessness and incompetence in my role as a parent.  The kind of junk we moms and dads deal with all of the time.
But I had absolutely no emotional reserve to handle it.
And that's why I fell apart. 

I have observed, though, in these past few days when I have felt on the brink of losing my mind, the moments when I feel a bit more pieced together again.
The people I have spent time with in the past few days have no idea how just the acts of engaging in adult conversation, receiving a friendly hug, or offering a sympathetic nod have strengthened me, fortified me, and helped me weave the shreds of my soul back together again.

And here's the other thing I realized: I need to read.
Last night the kids played outside a bit and I sat inside on the couch.  One hand was in a popcorn bowl filled with coconut-oil and salt drenched popcorn.  The other hand was turning pages of a book I have connected to in ways I can't quite explain.
The book is called Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith by Kathleen Norris.  I would love to recommend this book to you, but I'm not sure how.  About a week ago I sent an effusively enthusiastic email to someone about this book.  I copied a poignant and inspiring paragraph.  I offered my own insight.  I think the email fell on deaf ears (or blind eyes, or whatever emails fall on). 
And that's OK, because the thing about this book is that I want to burrow down into it.  When I read this book I curl up, hunker down, and let is swallow, nourish, and envelop me. 

You know how sometimes, when you carry a delicious secret around with you for a long time, and you tell someone about it, it somehow loses its deliciousness?
That's how this book is, perhaps.
Except............I'm telling you about it. 
I'm not telling you anything specific, though.  I'm not necessarily recommending it to you.
I'm just saying that this book has been necessary for me.
And that after I finish it, I will probably feel a little lost...but also, I hope, more whole and complete.

Maybe you should read this book.
And if you do, maybe you shouldn't tell me about it.
Maybe you should just let yourself be swallowed, nourished, and enveloped. 

And maybe, just maybe, next time you see me you will find me a little less emotionally shredded and a little more at peace. 


  1. I hope you don't mind, I quoted you on my blog. xoxo

  2. Oh, Jill. . . I'm glad you're sinking into _Amazing Grace_. It's good, isn't it? Hugs and many hours of wished-for conversation and delicious food and drink coming your way. Love you.

  3. Faith, of course it was OK to quote me on your blog. I am honored. :) And thanks for sharing on your blog. I think we might be going through some of the same gunk right now. Hugs to you! (and maybe we should start on our support group.)
    Rachel, the highlight of my Friday was seeing YOU. You have no idea what a blessing that was. And at least the kids were happy while they were roaming Science City. :) I love you, and I wish I could share hugs and conversation and food and drink with you! How I miss you!